Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Day 2 Of Our Trip To Cappadocia

Despite a very early start yesterday, I found myself sitting on the hotel terrace at 6am, why, because I had made the mistake of looking out of the window just as the sun was rising and was greeted with the sight of the sky filled with hot air balloons.  This is the classic view that is associated with Cappadocia, and it looks impressive in the photos and on TV, but to actually be sitting here watching and listening is truly and incredible experience.

The sound of the roar of the hot air balloon burners is so loud against the stillness of the sky and the majestic way the hot air balloons just hang there in the sky is a sight to see.  I counted around 60 hot air balloons.

After a fantastic Turkish breakfast with a few added twists we went for a walk, ha! walk, I was absolutely shattered when we got back.

From the hotel we made our way up some more winding roads.

Even around here there is a lot of building work going on.

Ancient and modern contrasts.

Can you spot the mosque speakers, in this picture?

We were heading to Sunset View Hill, you get a 360 degree view of these amazing surroundings.  As is typical in Turkey, when you go for a walk, a local dog decided to tag along for a walk, I wonder how many times she has made this walk throughout her life?

Finally, we made it to the top, but boy is the view worth it!!

Here you can see the modern road cutting through the ancient landscape.

We then made our way long some very narrow goat tracks to Love Valley, I will leave you to decide from the pictures why it has this name!

Our new furry friend is still with us , and quite content to have a snooze while we admire the view.

We saw a lot of mistletoe growing in the trees down in the valley.

Here you can see the trail we are following through the valley.

These rock formations look a bit like a clump of mushrooms.

When I first spotted this I thought I was looking at a reflection of the white stone in water, when I looked again I realised it is an optical illusion, there is no water just more rock below ground.

Ok track heading down hill and getting narrower.

That's better the track is flatter and wider now.

One thing we noticed in this part of Turkey is the autumn colours of the yellow and brown leaves, we don't see so much of this in our part of Turkey, on the Aegean Coast, due to the warmer climate.

This one has a serious crack down the centre, I wonder how long it will remain standing?

You can buy your own rock house to take home.

From here we walked up another steep hill to the Göreme Open Air Museum, via the rat run of tourist market stalls, and a couple of camels patiently sitting waiting for a tourist to climb on their backs to have their photo taken.  I wonder how many countries now have a photo of these camels.  Here we got to use our Muzekart+ (museum cards), saving us 15tl each on the entry fee.  I have to say that we were not overly impressed, but we had been prepared for this by the reviews that we had read.

Here are some photos of inside of some of the other rooms.

It appeared that only around half of the Museum is currently open, which we found out was due to unstable rock.  Also even now in late October there were a lot of people around and the cave rooms you are looking in our quite small and they do not restrict how many people try to cram in at any one time.

That's one very old, craggy looking olive tree trunk.

You can also see that the frescos appear to have been touched up, I admit probably sometime ago, when it was thought that the public wanted to see more rather than less, I am pleased that opinion has changed on this. Unfortunately the frescos were in the rock churches and photography was not allowed, so I have no photos of what we saw.

After we had finished looking around the Göreme Open Air Museum, we headed across the road to some cave houses just sitting there in an area of rock at this end of Kılıçlar Valley.  We enjoyed this experience far better as there was nobody else there and the caves did not appear to have been touched in recent times.

This rock looks like an animal that has been chained up.

We then headed back down the hill, back into town for lunch.

We decided to try Fat Boys, a cafe/restaurant also owned by our hotel.  The name comes from Yılmaz and Angela's surname Şişman, which is Turkish for 'fat'.  We had tomato soup with grated cheese and warm bread, and being hotel guests we got a 10% discount on our bill, so our three soups, two coffees and a coke came to 18tl.

When we eventually made it back up to the hotel (down side to having a wonderful view from the hotel is the fact that it is at the top of a steep hill), we rewarded ourselves to a well earned bottle of Tuborg Gold while we sat on the terrace. The hotel is unable to sell alcohol as they are next door to a mosque, but they are quite happy for you to buy some from a local shop and take it back to the terrace.

The weather today has been brilliant, when we set out in the morning we were wearing several layers, which we had to remove during the day, as there has been very little breeze and clear skies, with warm sunshine, which also made for some lovely blue skies for my photos.

For our early evening meal we headed back to Fat Boys as their menu looked interesting.  We had three bottle of Tuborg, two plates of chicken sactava and one beef sactava (your choice of meat stir fried with onions, garlic, green peppers and tomatoes, served with rice and bread, the total bill with our 10% discount came to 71tl.

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